Wednesday, December 3, 2014


You can go home again.  Such is the case of outfielder Torii Hunter who late Tuesday inked a one-year deal worth $10.5 million with the Minnesota Twins who made him their 20th round draft pick way back in 1993.  Hunter played 10 seasons with the Twins where he became a Gold Glove outfielder and a perennial All-Star who also showed himself to be a lower-end five tool player who could hit home runs and use his speed to steal bases.  Now turning 41 in July, Hunter is now clearly a different player than he was back in his prime.  Still he has proven he can still be a useful fantasy baseball outfielder as we look ahead to 2015 fantasy baseball.

Before we go on any further, let's take a closer look at Hunter's 2014 numbers which he accumulated with the Detroit Tigers.

17 HR
83 RBI
71 R
4 SB

Despite hitting in a prime pitcher's park, Hunter clearly did not humiliate himself at the age of 40 as an everyday outfielder.  A .279 career hitter, Hunter has actually improved in that department since his Twins days as he has batted .280 or better in five of the last six seasons.  Again at 41 we can't expect .300 but .280 is entirely possible given how adept Hunter is still proving himself to be at the dish.

As far as the power is concerned, the last time Hunter hit 20-plus home runs was in 2011 and the last three years have seen him come in at 16, 17, and 17 which is obviously where he should be projected for 2015.  Hunter remains in a prime pitching park in Target Field so his move out of Detroit doesn't help his offensive numbers.  The same can be said for the RBI which is probably Hunter's strongest point right now at this stage of the game.  Always showing a knack for driving in runners, Hunter has driven in at least 82 RBI every year since 2006 outside of only one season.  Of course the Twins lineup lacks even remotely the big-time bats the Tigers lineup did so a drop under 80 is likely on that front. 

Finishing things up, Hunter is a lock to score over 70 runs and 80 is not out of the realm of possibility either as he should maintain a prime spot in the hitting order.  However his speed is completely shot which means nothing but low single-digit stolen bases from a guy who uses to sail past the 20 mark. 

When you put it all together, Torii Hunter remains a solid enough outfielder 3 in fantasy baseball who can help you more than hurt.  The guy is one of my all-time favorite players to own as he never once in his career has let his owners down.  That counts for a little something extra in my book but even without the rose-colored glasses, Hunter still can bring it.

2015 PROJECTION:  .277 16 HR 78 RBI 75 R 2 SB


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